One year ago, March 1, 2015, I wrote my first blog for Two Writing Teachers as I dove into the deep end of the pool and accepted the challenge to write a Slice of Life every day for the month of March. It was sink or swim for me. I was in the early stages of cancer survival and needed something to lift my spirits and bring me back into the world of the living. I want to thank Kathleen Sokolowski, one of the TWT mentors, for telling me about the website and urging me to join the challenge.
Now, one year later, to my amazement, I not only wrote daily for the month of March, I never stopped writing. I have been writing weekly since then and missed only two weeks while I was in Germany during the Christmas holidays. My One Little Word for this year is Celebrate, so today I am celebrating this accomplishment with all my SOL friends, and with some new ones who I hope are writing here for the first time. This is a wonderful place to be, to develop some new writing habits, find your voice, play with your style and grow as a writer.
Community is so important. When you are very ill, your sense of isolation from the world at large is very painful to bear. You know that life is going on around you, without you, and there’s not a thing you can do about it. I had just left my job literally weeks before my cancer ordeal began, so I had closed the door on a community I had flourished within for 22 years. My life became a routine of chemo and radiation treatments that left me so incapacitated I could not have been social even if I wanted to. Six months later, when the treatments were over and I was “cancer free,” I had to start over. It was like being reborn but as a 67-year old adult!
I now want to thank all of you who supported my first blogs, baby steps on the way to becoming a dedicated blogger. Your warm reception, your encouragement about my ideas and the fact that some of you were there for me every week without fail all made me feel very protected, appreciated and welcomed. This is why I have stepped up to volunteer as a commenter for the new Slice of Life Challenge. I hope that somehow I can make the kind of difference in someone’s life that many of you made in mine.
In closing, a shout out to all the SOL mentors, Stacey, Dana, Kathleen, Tara, Beth, Anna, Deb and Betsy, who have worked hard to both create and sustain this community of writers. Your vision and your dedication have created a place where we can all be the best we can be thanks to your tutelage and inspiration.
Last but not least, a heartfelt thank you to all my fellow bloggers whose posts I look forward to with great anticipation every week and who have taught me so much about the importance of being a teacher who writes. I celebrate this community and look forward to another year with you all!